Report: German officials manipulated nuclear phase-out reports to fit agenda

Top officials from Germany’s Green Party reportedly manipulated expert conclusions to fit their own agenda.

Senior officials in Germany’s Ministry of Economic Affairs intentionally misrepresented expert reports to make it seem like nuclear power was no longer viable in the country, according to Cicero magazine on Thursday.
The media outlet claims, citing internal documents and emails it obtained through a court order, that long-time proponents of phasing out nuclear power in high positions of authority buried reports or altered them if they contradicted their ideological beliefs.
Following the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011, Germany’s parliament voted to shut down all similar facilities in the country. In April 2023, Germany shut down its last three operational nuclear power plants.
In the article, Cicero claims that Patrick Graichen and Stefan Tidow, then-deputy ministers at the Economy and Environment ministries respectively, played a key role in efforts to portray continuing the operational life of Germany’s nuclear power plants as dangerous.

The two allegedly conspired to prevent their respective bosses from seeing any technical reports that refuted this assumption. According to the article, documents from March 2022 clearly pointed out that with sharply decreasing Russian gas imports, an “extension of the nuclear power plants’ operational life” could have alleviated Germany’s dire energy sector situation and prevented prices from skyrocketing in the coming winter.
However, the Green Party higher-ups, unhappy with this conclusion, allegedly rewrote the document, hammering home the message that continuing the remaining nuclear power plants’ operation “is not tenable on technical-safety grounds.”
Cicero claims Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck most likely only saw the rewritten version of the report, not the original.
Faced with the threat of looming energy deficits, on October 17, Chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered the remaining three nuclear power plants to remain operational throughout the winter, despite warnings from the Economy and Environment ministries. However, as Cicero notes, the overall trend toward fully phasing out nuclear power generation has remained unchanged.

With rising energy prices, Germany’s prized industrial sector has found itself increasingly at a disadvantage, with one in three manufacturers considering moving production overseas as a result, Bild reported in February.